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A conversational implicature is an inference that consists of attributing to a speaker an implicit meaning that goes beyond the explicit linguistic meaning of an utterance. This paper experimentally investigates scalar implicature, a paradigmatic case of implicature in which a speaker's use of a term like Some indicates that the speaker had reasons not to(More)
When Tarzan asks Jane Do you like my friends? and Jane answers Some of them, her underinformative reply implicates Not all of them. This scalar inference arises when a less-than-maximally-informative utterance implies the denial of a more informative proposition. Default Inference accounts (e.g. Levinson, 1983; 2000) argue that this inference is linked to(More)
This work employs Evoked Potential techniques as 19 participants are confronted with sentences that have the potential to produce scalar implicatures, like in Some elephants have trunks. Such an Underinformative utterance is of interest to pragmatists because it can be considered to have two different truth values. It can be considered true when taken at(More)
Much developmental work has been devoted to scalar implicatures. These are implicitly communicated propositions linked to relatively weak terms (consider how Some pragmatically implies Not all) that are more likely to be carried out by adults than by children. Children tend to retain the linguistically encoded meaning of these terms (wherein Some is(More)
Behavioral predictions about reasoning have usually contrasted two accounts, Mental Logic and Mental Models. Neuroimaging techniques have been providing new measures that transcend this debate. We tested a hypothesis from Goel and Dolan (2003) that predicts neural activity predominantly in a left parietal-frontal system when participants reason with(More)
Participants experience difficulty detecting that an item depicting an H-in-a-square confirms the logical rule, "If there is not a T then there is not a circle." Indeed, there is a perceptual conflict between the items mentioned in the rule (T and circle) and in the test item (H and square). Much evidence supports the claim that correct responding depends(More)
Discerning the meaning of an utterance requires not only mastering grammar and knowing the meanings of words but also understanding the communicative (i.e., pragmatic) features of language. Although it has been an ever present aspect of linguistic analyses and discussions, it is only over the last ten years or so that cognitive scientists have been(More)
It is now well established that communicators interpret others' mental states through what has been called "Theory of Mind" (ToM). From a linguistic-pragmatics perspective, this mentalizing ability is considered critical because it is assumed that the linguistic code in all utterances underdetermines the speaker's meaning, leaving a vital role for ToM to(More)
Deductive reasoning is traditionally viewed as a unitary process involving either rule-based or visuo-spatial mechanisms. However, there is a disagreement in the neuroimaging literature on whether the data support one alternative over the other. Here we test the hypothesis that discrepancies in the literature result from the reasoning materials themselves.(More)